Claude Dielna “very happy” to join Revolution: “The club looks to be a family”

DL - Claude Dielna

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Claude Dielna showed up on the New England Revolution’s radar sometime in June, and the technical staff liked what they saw from the veteran center back on film; strong in the air, a good communicator and a deadly left foot.

But the Revs also place a big emphasis on locker room culture, so when Dielna visited their Foxborough training facilities on Wednesday and Thursday, it was primarily to see if the player was a fit for the club, and if the club was a fit for the player.

“There’s a good personality within our group,” said head coach Jay Heaps. “We don’t want to distract from that; we want to keep building on the good locker room. It’s really important that you hit not just being a great player on the field, but also good around the group.”

It didn’t take long for the Revs to determine that Dielna was the right fit, and for the player to come to the same conclusion. New England announced the 29-year-old defender as their newest signing on Friday afternoon, pending receipt of his ITC and P-1 visa.

“The club looks to be a family and that’s what I need,” said Dielna. “They were very professional and competitive, as well, so we’re of the same mentality. That’s why I’m here.”

Shortly after signing his contract on Thursday, Dielna returned to Europe to sort out the necessary paperwork for his move to the United States. Heaps said there’s “no time frame” for when that paperwork will be completed, but the Revs hope to have him in the mix “as soon as possible.”

When Dielna does join the Revs on the field, he’ll look to solidify a Revolution rearguard that has conceded 34 goals this season, third-most in the Eastern Conference. He’ll join Antonio Delamea, Benjamin Angoua and Josh Smith on an expanding center back corps.

“He can do a lot of things from a leadership standpoint, a lot of things from an experience standpoint,” Heaps said of Dielna, who has played in France, England, Romania and Slovakia. “He’s someone that we want to just strengthen our group all the way around.”

Dielna, a left-footed player with experience at left back, also gives the Revolution more flexibility to alter their formation, whether from the opening whistle or with late-game adjustments.

“It gives us a lot of options, and that’s what we need; we need options to be able to go three in the back, (play with) a center back with a left foot, or a left back with a little bit more aerial presence,” said Heaps. “Things like that are going to be important for us to have some options defensively.”

With just 14 games remaining in the regular season and the Revs fighting to get back into the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference, Dielna won’t have much time to adjust – he’ll be looked upon to provide an immediate impact at the season’s most critical juncture.

It seems to be a challenge he’s ready to tackle.

“I’m very happy to sign for this club,” Dielna said. “I’m very excited to start the competition.”